rabbit in in a cartoon forest

Thanks to a couple of Facebook friends I have gotten hooked on the comic strip Coffee with Jesus from the folks at Radio Free Babylon.

The comic has Jesus in a coat and tie sharing coffee with a rotating group of contemporary individuals. There is a lay woman, a lay male, and a pastor. Oh, yes, and Satan shows up regularly. These folks are frequently portrayed as clueless, but many times Jesus’ response mirrors what I would expect Jesus to say were he around today. One strip last week gave me pause, however.

I can’t say I’ve seen the Disney movie Bambi. Maybe I’ve seen it once, or maybe parts of it. But what I did have was the 1950’s equivalent of the DVD or VHS tape. I owned a vinyl LP that reenacted the cartoon movie in an abridged fashion. I listened to it enough to probably have memorized it.

I certainly remember the Thumper quote. “If you can’t say something nice….” Like many youngsters of my era I took it to heart, certainly with reinforcement of my parents. Several years ago a manager, who later became my manager, asked me to provide feedback on a peer of mine, standard procedure at performance review time. I didn’t respond, which was not my habit when asked for feedback. I was listening to Thumper’s advice. The fellow in question maintained a standard routine of being unresponsive and uncooperative. I truly had nothing good to say about his work, which is rare for me. His manager was persistent, however, and I ultimately agreed to speak with him on the phone, where I conveyed my honest perception.

So Jesus here took me aback. Certainly Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple and had a lot to say against the scribes and the Pharisees. He certainly was not always about being pleasant and accommodating. The Jesus we see in Matthew can be particularly harsh.

But still. But still.


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